A SPECIAL flag has been raised in Lyndhurst to show support for the armed forces.

New Forest District Council erected the flag outside its Appletree Court offices on Monday and it will fly there until the end of Armed Forces Day on Sunday.

As it was raised, staff member Rob Mangles played the traditional Reveille on a World War Two bugle.

The council’s chairman, Cllr Maureen Holding, was joined at the event by a number of council employees who have served in the military.

She said: “We truly value our local armed forces community and recognise the sacrifices made by service personnel, veterans, reservists and their families.

“The council is lucky to benefit from the range of experience and dedication of these staff and councillors who have previously served in the armed forces. It has been an honour to raise the armed forces flag together with them.

“I hope that communities across the New Forest will get involved and show their support – from flying a flag to attending one of the official Armed Forces Day events being organised around the country.”

Last year the council signed a community covenant to pledge its support for members of the armed forces living in the area and has dedicated officers who can give advice to personnel and their families on issues such as housing, benefits and council tax reduction.